New signals identification number named after industry legend

A new national numbering scheme for traffic signal controllers will be called the “Simmonite Number”, in honour of one of the pioneers of traffic signal control in the UK, Brian Simmonite.

The new numbering system is part of the Digital Controller Interface Specification (DCIS) and will be named in honour of founder of signals consultancy company JCT who died in 2009 aged just 55, to recognise the outstanding contribution he made to the industry.

The Simmonite Number will be an additional national unique identifier for traffic signals that sits on top of the current locally derived ‘SCN’ or Site Controller Numbers that road authorities will still use for managing their signals. It has been introduced thanks to work undertaken through the Transport Technology Forum’s Connected Vehicles and UTMC Working Groups and will help to digitise the UK’s road network, setting an open and standard way of numbering signal sites, which is the first step to digitising each controller’s specific control configuration.  This will eventually ensure that every signal-controlled site in the country can be uniquely identified.  In 2024 the DCIS project team will start to contact road authorities to trial the application of Simmonite Numbers to their signals.

Brian Simmonite’s near 30-year career included stints working with traffic signals at Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire County Councils before he developed the LinSig Design and Assessment Tool for Traffic Signal Junctions and Urban Networks.  He also introduced JCT’s consultancy and training services.

JCT Managing Director Paul Moore expressed delight at the naming of the new DCIS numbering.  “Brian would be honoured at having his name associated with something that makes signals more efficient,” he said, “but he was a very humble man and I’m not sure he would’ve liked much fuss around it!

“I joined Brian in 1996 to co-write LinSig for Windows and his software has gone on to become an industry standard in the UK.  LinSig’s success is down to Brian’s innovative spirit, always pushing to improve the way we design signals and the tools we use to do this and we at JCT are very proud to continue the work that Brian started.  The Simmonite Number will add to Brian’s lasting legacy, and everyone here is very thrilled that his name will live on as our industry uses their Simmonite Numbers in record keeping and maintenance, management, modelling of junctions, and data sharing.”

(Picture of Brian Simmonite courtesy of JCT)

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